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Pardew eyes further improvement


Alan Pardew says Newcastle must strengthen in the summer

Alan Pardew says Newcastle must strengthen in the summer

Alan Pardew says Newcastle must strengthen in the summer

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has vowed to continue his mission to match steady growth off the pitch with progress on it.

The Magpies this week announced financial figures which showed they recorded a profit after tax of £9.9million for the year ending June 2013.

Those results confirmed the continued success of the club's drive for self-sufficiency, although the policy adopted by owner Mike Ashley, who sanctioned the sale of key midfielder Yohan Cabaye in January without replacing him, remains a bone of contention with many fans.

However, Pardew has known the ramifications of the financial model since he took his job in December 2010 and is determined to fulfil his part of the bargain.

He said: "We are the eighth best team in the Premier League in the history of it and we want to get higher than that, so that's what we have got to try to do.

"We haven't Qatar money, we haven't got that sort of finance, so it is a slow-build, keep getting better, keep getting stronger, and hopefully our fans realise that."

However, Pardew is equally well aware that his current squad will enter something of a watershed this summer with strikers Loic Remy and Luuk de Jong only on loan at St James' Park and several players either out of contract or approaching the point where the club will have to make a decision on whether to stick or twist.

A significant proportion of the Magpies' recruitment in recent seasons has been designed to strengthen the squad, but the manager admits he could be looking for up to three players to go straight into the team for the new campaign.

Pardew said: "That's probably fair to say. We are going to need at least two or three signings who come straight into that team or have a very, very good chance of starting.

"I think we have got a summer where we are going to have to be a lot more active than we have been for a while because we are looking light in certain areas.

"The strikers are an area we are going to have to address, for sure, and we are going to have to find a replacement for Cabaye, so that's a big job in itself, let alone perhaps a couple of other positions that we might need.

"The finances of the club are in good shape. As I have said before, we know we have got to do some work in the summer after losing Cabaye, we would like to think we will have to spend some of that this summer.

"But the board has done well to get those figures and we look forward to the next period of, hopefully, our growth."

On the pitch, Newcastle head for Hull on Saturday having steadied the ship, if only just, with a last-gasp victory over Aston Villa last weekend which came courtesy of Remy's 92nd-minute winner.

That ended a run of three successive Barclays Premier League defeats and while it was unconvincing in some respects, it answered some of the criticism which has come the way of Pardew and his players in recent weeks.

The 52-year-old said: "There were a couple of question marks about whether we cared enough, but that celebration when that goal went in showed you everything about how committed the players are.

"But when you are beaten, sometimes it's difficult, especially with the points total we have. 'We don't care' - it's an easy tag to put around us.

"But I don't think you could say that if you were here every day and saw the guys working, so I have no worries that we will be fully committed and hopefully get as many wins as we possibly can."